have viola, will travel

Gregory Ewer, founder and artistic director of 45th Parallel

This past week has been slow for the Oregon Symphony, but I’ve been quite busy with rehearsing and performing with 45th Parallel, one of Portland’s newest chamber music collaborations, now in its second year.

It was especially nice to get the chance to work musicians with whom I haven’t had the chance to share the stage with before, including flutist Abby Mages, pianist Bill Crane, tenor Stephen Marc Beaudoin, clarinetist David Hattner and soprano Ida Rae Cahana.

The morning after our highly successful concert on Friday night at The Old Church in Portland, it was time to get into our cars and drive out to Pendleton, Oregon, home of the Pendleton Roundup, Pendleton Wollen Mills, and Hamley’s Western Store.  They have a beautiful Art Center on Main Street (formerly the Carnegie Building) with a lovely performing space, which is where the second concert was held on Saturday afternoon.

The people of Pendleton are some of the nicest and most welcoming that I’ve had the pleasure to meet in my travels around Oregon, and after a post-concert chili dinner, three of us set off to return to Portland, arriving in the midst of some very heavy rain squalls just after midnight.  It was a long drive, but getting back late a night was necessary for getting to the OSO rehearsal on Sunday morning.

Unfortunately, at some point on Friday morning, during a recording gig with my quartet, I did something to strain a muscle in my neck, resulting in some very painful playing for the following two days.  Bad enough that I was forced to call in sick to the OSO kids concert today.  It was hard to do – I’m loathe to ever use sick days – but rest and moist heat for the majority of the day are really helping me get on the mend for Monday a.m.’s Psycho special rehearsal.